What is Crystalline Silica?
Silica, also known as Quartz is found in many construction materials including brick, mortar, masonry, rock, landscaping material, granite and more. Silica dust is commonly produced during building and construction activities such as cutting and grinding. Furthermore, these small dust particles of silica are microscopic and easily inhaled, even the smallest amounts inhaled can lead to lung damage.
What is Silicosis?
Breathing in or inhaling Crystalline Silica causes Silicosis, a lung disease that is irreversible, potentially life threatening but also 100% preventable. Silica particles that make their way into the lungs of contractors, workers and even bystanders develop hard nodules, inflammation and scarring in their lungs. Should these nodules increase in size they can make it very difficult to breathe and can lead to death. While there is no cure for Silicosis, it is 100% preventable.
Why is it dangerous?
Inhaling Crystalline Silica can lead to one developing a number of lung diseases including, Silicosis, Lung Cancer, Tuberculosis and more. Crystalline Silica is recognized by the World Health Organisation – International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC) as a “known human carcinogen”.
The AS170 Masonry Solution
The AS170 can contribute up to a 77% reduction in respirable silica dust (Alan, E., Chaolong. Q., (2016) In-Depth Survey Report: Removing mortar with a powered saw. Ohio: NIOSH) when carrying out tasks such as heritage restoration, tuck pointing, toothing of brickwork and chasing. Unlike other masonry saws and grinders, the AS170 does not require the use of heavy duty, expensive face masks and suits to be compliant. This is largely because the innovative motion of the blades produces mostly larger dust particles. As a result these particles don’t become airborne and spread like that of angle grinders. This coupled with the Dust Boot makes it ideal for Heritage Restoration Professionals and other Masonry Contractors looking to improve on-site safety and compliance.
For more information on Silica Exposure or OSHA rulings, please visit www.silica-safe.org